Just Purchased 2008-e825 4 Where to start rejuvenation

Looking to upgrade to a smoother ride and easier steering George delivered this on Friday.

First thing MY WIFE noticed was the right rear door seemed like it was going to fall off. most of the screws holding the inner and outer shells together were missing. I will steal screws from the other doors to help hold it together while I figure out what screws I can get to fit it.

Today I noticed the Magic Magnet film canister was ziptied to the right shock tower AND the rubber brake line causing the brake line to pull into the shock(rubbing). I immediately cut off the zipties and ziptied it to the rounded frame right below the T4 controller along with the connectors. No now there’s not rubbing nor motor sense wires/connectors bouncing around.

The rear seat bottom as off and in trying to put it in I found it would not go in because the rear seat back was not attached. I inserted the upper clips into the frame holes and I will find some screws to attach the bottom to mounts.

Third brake light needs help or at least some form of cover.

A rear fender bolt is missing on driver side lower fender mount.

The rubber at the back of the roof window is missing so I will need to find a replacement, clean and attach.

Cracked driver side inside door shell.

The two front cover bolts and hinges are wobbly so the cover sags when the latch is released and has to be lifted back up to relatch. Wondering if fender washers or something else is used to attach the cover to the inside hinge bracket. ??

The rubber at the bottom of the windshield was falling off about 12" in on the left and right side. Will have to clean that and reapply some adhesive.

The 2 side mirrors were not attached and were located in the trunkback.

After overnight charging the batteries measured 12.7V across the 4 I could easily get to under the rear seat. The battery types look like Dekka gel saying G31-550 gray with the handle and sealed cells. See pic.

I’ve ordered a new truckback 17" x 40lbs strut:

I’ve ordered a new 18" windshield wiper:

For some reason the Trunkback upper rubber mounts were about 1" away from the body yet the upper latch seemed in place. Something is not right there as from experience with the 2002 those bumpers should be resting on the body.

Wheels and tires look new along with the wheel spacers at all for wheels.
The are Continental 165/65 R15 tires.

From what I’m told, the motor was reworked as the vehicle has over 18,000 miles on it. The front shocks look recent with shiny upper metal eyelets and what looks like a lower spring tension adjustment screw. Rear shocks are OEM and likely original.

I did a quick bounce test and steering back/forth test and did not see any front end looseness.

Registration is from Oct 2021 so I’ve not taken it on the street to drive it yet.


Fvcking timing… 1… damn… day… difference … and I could have put eyes on it for you…

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Ya, we tried and George didn’t get there til after 8p and not sure he would have given it the close inspection your or I would have. I don’t know how my wife noticed the R/R door halves were unsecured… whoever worked on this or assembled it after work was done should have included the bag of extra parts. Wow, lots of missing hardware.

The trunk back latch connecting rod is detached and connector is broke.

It also looks like this is the wrong trunk back for this model since the latching arm is too long the the body structure. The body does not have a recess at the latching are like the 2002 does.

The LF door is difficult to open/unlock because the attaching hardware is both missing and loose.

And the mirrors are missing screws, a screw cap/cover and the rubber gasket is missing.

It kinda looks like someone took it apart to paint it and didn’t put it all back together.

Have you tried contacting the seller and see if they still have all the missing hardware?

Otherwise- some of this might go back together with vhb tape.

The crack in the door frame is going to take some internal bracing.

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Yes that is exactly what it looks like, the painters 12 year old son was given the job of handling the paint job on this GEM… So many missing screws, nuts, etc.

I am in contact with the seller and he said he would look for parts but most likely they ended up on the painters dirt driveway and are never to be seen again.

I was just looking at the door crack and that’s my take too, rivets or screws into some aluminum flat stock behind the cracked area.


I ran across this image of the display on this 2008 and since I’m not used to it I figured it was also time to test all the lights and function switches. All lights and switches work.

I noticed this has a TRIP meter feature and that “Trip” was illuminated where it was saying 18,xxx miles. The seller told me it had 18,xxx miles on it. Funny thing about Trip meters is that if you hold the button down it zero’s out the Trip meter and sure enough the 18,xxx went to 0. I short pressed the Trip meter button and up pops 24,xxx miles. Hey, only 30% more mileage than originally though. :confused: Still, so far as it sits in the driveway the drivetrain seems in perfect condition.

See if you can find these in your area. Otherwise I will send you a bag.

Use keywords 14 x 3/4 Phil truss head tapping screw SS.

Also comes in 1 in. Not sure if they go down to 1/2.

I use them for all sorts of things.

They also come in machine screw if you have some meaty goodness to tap into or can get behind it with a nut and washer.

Beware of the SS seize. It is real.

I will see what I can find but have two observations:

  1. while the truss head is wider than normal head diameter it is likely still much smaller than the washer which is 13mm in diameter and well, cheap plastic with people yanking on it…
  2. length is up in the air but current thread length from washer to flat end is 10mm so would def want to shoot for 1/2" and the thread size/diameter is critical as this plastic will likely split if too thick at the threads. Original screw measured 4.25mm OD of the threads and they are odd threads with one thread winding shallow and the next thread deep and providing the 4.25mm OD.
    The thread design is called High-Low( or Hi lo ) and McMaster-Carr has them although without builtin washers. McMaster-Carr

I picked up the #8 x 0.5" high-low screw in black and a #6 oversized 0.5" washer in black and they worked perfectly.

The weak trunkback strut was removed and the replacement installed. I only had to unscrew the ends of the old strut and install them on the new strut and it was ready to go.

17 Inch 40 lbs Gas Prop Lift Spring Rod Strut Heavy Duty Tool Box Lid Top RV

Wow I saw that car for sale here on the Fourm and it didn’t look that bad. I was talking with George the shipper he was on his way out to go pick up the Gem. I had no idea that that car was so hammered.

I know a guy who has a Set of Hard doors for sale if your Intrested his doors are in good condition

It’s really just a bunch of little things but no where near ‘ready to go’ as was suggested.
Example, I was told the mirrors were in the trunk and they just needed being put on. Wrong!
There were not enough screws, it was missing a rubber seal/mount, the drivers door looks like it is missing the metal insert behind the plastic so no screws will hold the mirror on for any amount of use. The screws would just ripe out of the thin plastic door shell.

Front hood just sags and has to be lifted into place when latched. This is going to break the front hood where it rests on the windshield cross bar and fender panel.

Rear trunkback is only supported at the 2 metal posts and center latch because it was from an earlier model GEM. ok for a little bit but put anything in there and the torque on the 2 legs will be excess with nothing keeping it from twisting left and right on the center latch.

Driver side door handle is missing one of the two nuts holding in place and the 2nd is loose so it won’t open the door when you pull on it and the door skin and latch pull away from the inner panel.

Odds and ends like that surprised me on this one. All fixable, just not really ready to go.

Well that’s No good. All cars have issues. It’s nice when a seller points out the things that are wrong so you don’t have any surprises. I’ll tell you a story so you don’t fee so bad. Back in the day when I would buy just pretty much anything.
O my was I a dummy! Well this dirt bag was selling this 2002. He said it ran and everything was fine. Well I showed up to his house 1:30 away and he said. O I forgot to plug the car in and it’s dead. Just charge it up when you get home and you will be fine. Well this bastard knew the car had major issues and knew if it ran you would have heard the transmission and 1/2 shaft issues along with the completely broken rear sun frame. I did t get to find out anything that was wrong with it UNTILL I put new battery’s in it and then I got to find the controller was on its way out and the charger didn’t even work. This guy that sold it to me was such a dirt bag. I was so pissed.

That guy was definitely a dirt-bag, this guy I don’t believe knew about these things and since it was purchased for a lake house he never got it to, he didn’t use it. He even said that once he realized he didn’t need it for the lake house(already on the water) they kept it to put their son on the insurance instead of the Porche or Lambo. He even pointed out the doors not opening well and the tricks to get them to open but didn’t notice it was caused by missing and loose screws. I think he trusted the paint shop and they really sucked( should have figured that out by all the bad taping ). The paint shop lost lots of parts and probably were the ones who broke the Trunkback latch. He also trusted the company he’d purchased it from, a company who services GEMs for a University, but they built a FrankenGEM of mismatched parts although it looks like they did a good job replacing ball joints and the motor does look like it was serviced(new brushes, turned commutator).

Finally got the vehicle insured off of the temporary registration AND have signatures for finalizing actual registration(sticker) tomorrow. It’s raining so even though I still don’t have a sideview mirror I drive it to work today and stayed dry and didn’t get my teeth loosened over all the pumps, ridges and disrepaired roads.

There is a massive bluetooth speaker bolted to the dash and leaning against the windshield which needs rubber bumpers to keep it from breaking the windshield. Currently, I can hear it rattle against the glass. Big plastic doors also rattle some but nothing like the 2002.


it is NOTHING like Ernie’s rig but still feels like a step up. Gel batteries are noticeably laggy but that’ll change when I swap the Leaf battery from the 2002 into the 2008. I also want to get a real BMS on that Leaf pack so there’s charger protection instead of the monitoring system it currently has.


Another indication this is a FrankenGEM was found over the weekend. The door hands are really tough to open the doors and sometimes I have to push on the middle of the outer skin, below the window and pull the handle. So I started opening up the doors and the last part is removing the door handles which have 2 nylock nuts holding them on. The inner door skin has 2 holes for access to these nuts but the holes are about 3/8-1/2" offset from the bolt locations. After removing the outer door skin I had to pry the thick inner skin(semi-structural) away so I could get a wrench in there. And putting the nuts back on with fat fingers makes my back ache from all the times I had to pick them up off the floor to try again.